Next Level Ops Podcast: Modern Web Development Tools with Brian Richards

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the tenth and final episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. We’re already at the close of the season and we’d like to thank every single one of our guests and listeners, as well as our host for being a part of Next Level Ops! In this installment, Superhost Joe chats with Brian Richards, Creator of WPSessions, about essential web development tools for modern web developers.

In This Episode: jQuery Turns 14, Brian’s Toolkit for Web Development, and Leveling Up

What coding tools are there for the everyday web developer? With a great amount of web development tools out there, how do you decide which ones to have in your toolbox? How can you level up your skills and find new tools to use? All of this and more in this episode of Next Level Ops.

“Knowing which tools to look for is the entire battle. So, where do you find the tools that help make your job easier? How do you know that they actually work as advertised? Why should you trust them? When can you trust them?”

Brian Richards, Creator of WPsessions

Use Code Linting

First of all, you can start with some concepts to get familiar with. For example, code linting helps you find errors in your code while you’re writing your code. It shows you where you’ve inserted a character that breaks your code depending on the language you’re coding in.

Configure Your Code Editor

Second, Brian recommends that you find a code editor that you love. Moreover, you can configure the code editor of your choice to be more productive for you by changing short codes and adding code completion and formatting. A few changes like this and it will customize your code editor to be the best choice for you. Keep in mind that instead of looking for the next shiny product, use the tools that work for you and stick to them. Keep reading for recommended code editors and local development tools below. 

Follow Coding Standards

Additionally, for coding it’s important to adapt some kind of coding standards and making sure that you follow them. Following standards should help you avoid running into bugs. Learn about local development environments that help you build projects for the web while offline. There are many tools specialized for the platform and languages you want to work with.

Love the Command Line

And last but not least, become familiar with and begin to love the command line. So, read on to find the key takeaways of recommended tools and strategies from Brian to orient your web development. This list is a must-have for web developers so better bookmark this page!

Key Takeaways

A List of Great Tools

  • Free and open-source code editor: VSCode
  • Code sniffers that can check your code for compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Github needs little introduction. Use it for testing, deploying and peer-review.
  • Laravel Valet is a fast local, development environment for Mac with minimal resource requirements.
  • Use Local by Flywheel for local WordPress development.
  • Lando is a local development dependency management and automation tool.
  • Know and love the Command Line:
  • Wait at least two years before adopting a new library. And if you’re picking up a code library, don’t forget to follow the coding standards set by the library.

Choose Your Learning Battles

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear all the details. If you’re interested in hearing more from Next Level Ops, check out the rest of our podcasts. This was the last installment this season, so keep checking in to find out our future plans!

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Brian Richards

Brian is the Creator of WPsessions and an independent web developer.

Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops.  Until next time, stay safe.

Next Level Ops Podcast: Working with Self-hosting Email with Christian Mollekopf

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the ninth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. Only one more to go and we’re already at the close of Season 1! In this installment, Superhost Joe and Christian Mollekopf from Apheleia IT talk about working with self-hosting email.

In This Episode: Choosing An Email Hosting Provider, Reputation Management and Taking Back Control

What should you consider when choosing an email hosting provider? What are some of the options users have when searching for good email providers, especially if you also want to look at enterprise options? Is it good enough to opt for what your web host offers or to use a service like GSuite? What are some of the things you should think about when going the self-hosting route? In this episode, Joe and Christian discuss how to address options and issues surrounding email hosting. 

“I think usually it [email] is something that you are going to use for quite a long time. It’s like a very central part of your infrastructure typically. So, I think it’s definitely worth considering a couple of options,” says Christian. When choosing the right hosting provider, it’s worth considering things like what are the features you require, whether it’s simply email or also calendars and tasks, whether you need shared folders and calendars, and which type of client do you want. Another factor to consider is vendor lock in – just in case you want to transfer to another hosting provider and how easy will it be for you to migrate your data to another system. 

If vendor lock in is an issue of concern for you, then the question arises whether you can self-host your email. What happens when you do that? Some common issues to watch out for are to make sure that other servers can distinguish between genuine email coming from your server and spam coming from other servers, pretending to come from your server, to ensure that your server doesn’t send spam, and reputation management of your domain. To read some of the best practices of self-hosting email, go here.

Key Takeaways

  • What should someone consider when choosing an email hosting provider? Your email is probably going to be a central part of the infrastructure and you’ll use it for a long time to start out by keeping this in mind. The second thing is to consider the features you need, such as a calendar, for example. Do consider your email’s interoperability and vendor lock-in. You should be able to migrate away if you want to.
  • What are the benefits of self-hosting over using a service like Gmail? One word: Control. You maintain control over your solution. If you self-host, you have more control over your email.
  • As a hosting provider, what are some of the pitfalls of hosting email? The biggest pitfall is reputation management. Other services that receive email have to fight a lot of spam. Track the reputation of domains and IP addresses.
  • What features in Plesk help with email hosting? SPF, DMARK, DKIM are built-in. Other UIs for important measures like rate and message size limits and the Plesk Email Security extension with anti-spam. Find out more about the features here.

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. If you’re interested in hearing more from Next Level Ops, check out the rest of our podcasts. We’ll be back soon with our last installment.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Christian Mollekopf

Christian is a Senior Software Engineer at Apheleia IT.

Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops.  And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Next Level Ops Podcast: Using Cloud Services for Your Hosting or Website with Lukas Hertig

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the sixth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe welcomes back Lukas Hertig, our Highest Order Pleskian, to have a chat about hyperscale cloud services.

In This Episode: Cloud-Washing, Competing in a Hyperscale Cloud Environment and Specializing Your Niche

What do we mean when we’re talking about cloud services? What is a hyperscale cloud provider? How can hosting companies compete in a hyperscale cloud environment? Joe and Lukas get the ball rolling on cloud computing in this week’s Next Level Ops. “Unfortunately, there is a lot of “cloud-washing” out there in the market,” says Lukas.

“If you want to use cloud services, it depends highly on your use case or your business. All the great stuff that we’re personally using today - Netflix, Uber, Shopify - is backed by cloud services.”

Lukas Hertig

The main idea behind cloud computing is that it lets you share resources. Amazon was the first to consider this idea when it wanted to scale its services back in the 2000s. Companies can now run their applications on top of technology infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services. These days, cloud computing is available globally. And a few big competitors have entered the market. One of the biggest advantages cloud services provide is that you can keep your data and your services where your customers are.

That said, in what circumstances can a company use cloud services? “If you want to use cloud services, it depends highly on your use case or your business,” says Lukas. “All the great stuff that we’re personally using today – Netflix, Uber, Shopify – is backed by cloud services.”

Key Takeaways

  • Advantages of using cloud services. There has been concern among European companies about privacy in the cloud. However, today cloud providers are fully compliant with GDPR and local privacy regulations. This has made it easier for businesses to use such services. Using cloud services also depends on your use case. If you are a large enterprise, it allows you to spin up servers closest to your customers at the click of a button. When you are a start-up, it allows you to scale your services very fast.
  • Competing in a hyperscale cloud environment. Hyperscale cloud providers have made cloud infrastructure a commodity. So you need to find new ways to compete on a different layer, not just at the infrastructure level. For hosting companies that means moving from “generalist” to “specialist” managed services. Hosting companies should investigate what niche their customers belong to. This will enable them to provide more targeted technologies and services to their end users.
  • Partnering with hyperscale cloud providers. You can partner with companies like AWS and DigitalOcean using their partner programs and build on top of their hyperscale cloud. These companies are huge but they’re also human! It’s not all about competing but using existing services and building strategic relationships for growth.
  • Benefiting from hyperscale cloud technology. The rise of the platform plays a role here, i.e. look at platforms like Wix and Shopify who are actually using hyperscale cloud infrastructure to provide services to their users. Companies can develop more customized solutions using technology from hyperscalers. These solutions may not even be possible without hyperscaler technology!

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. If you’re interested in hearing more from Lukas, check out this episode. If you’re interested in knowing more about cloud service models, take a look at this guide. Remember you can find all episodes of the official Plesk Podcast here and here. And if you liked this episode, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a rating and review in Apple Podcast. We’ll be back soon with the next installment.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Lukas Hertig

Lukas is the SVP Business Development & Strategic Alliances at Plesk.

As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy

Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy - Plesk

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the fifth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe speaks to Andrey Kugaevskiy, Plesk’s WordPress Paladin. Andrey tells us what to consider when setting up or looking for Managed WordPress Hosting.

In This Episode: Car Mechanics, One-click Hosters, Outdated Plugins, and More

In This Episode: Car Mechanics, One-click Hosters, Outdated Plugins, and More - Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy - Plesk

How well do you know your hosting? Is your website, blog or e-commerce store secure and up to date? Do you get all the support you need? According to Andrey, choosing the right Managed WordPress Hosting is not a bed of roses. It’s, in fact, quite a tricky decision. 

For Andrey, hosters that specialize in WordPress take the pole position. Because every fast, modern, and secure Ferrari has a super-qualified team behind it. “A good Managed WordPress Hosting should handle the things you shouldn’t care about – like the technical infrastructure. So you should only be focused on growing your site or application”, says Andrey. 

Thank you master Andrey for your wise words. We’ll make sure our listeners follow your piece of advice when picking their Managed WordPress Hosting.

“A good Managed WordPress Hosting should handle the things you shouldn’t care about - like the technical infrastructure. So you should only be focused on growing your site or application.”

Andrey Kugaevskiy

Key Takeaways

  • Do your research beforehand: When choosing your hoster, make sure you spot the WordPress connoisseur. Having knowledgeable staff that can support you and your site, makes all the difference.
  • Know your resources and competence: Look at how many visitors you’ll have. There’s a big tech stack running on the hardware (Web, MySQL, PHP, Cache, security). And security is in a weird place right now between totally locked down and unusable, and more free-flowing and open. It’s a question of your knowledge, flexibility, and control.
  • Let your hoster take care of you: Managed WordPress Hosting should care about security issues and good performance. Outdated plugins are a common security problem. It’s important to keep your site up to date. And learn how to optimize your site for better results.
  • WordPress is here to stay: WordPress is growing extremely fast. So, it’s pretty clear that all hosts should have some kind of WordPress support. And most importantly, a bunch of experts. Hosts that don’t do anything for support, could face being left behind.

Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. You can listen to our previous episodes here and here. Or if you want to simplify the way you manage your website, you can also take a peek at our WordPress Toolkit. We’ll be back soon with the next installment!

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Andrey Kugaevskiy

Andrey is a Senior Program Manager at Plesk.

Remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Next Level Ops Podcast: Tips for Keeping Your Server Secure with Igor Antipkin

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the fourth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe speaks to Igor Antipkin, Plesk’s Security Warlock. Igor shares his philosophy on the multifaceted role security plays in projects. And sheds light on how users can reduce security risks.

In This Episode: Threat Modelling, Thinking About Risks and How to Not Become a Security Engineer

In This Episode: Threat Modelling, Thinking About Risks and How to Not Become a Security Engineer - Next Level Ops Podcast: Tips for Keeping Your Server Secure with Igor Antipkin - Plesk

What are some of the common security issues that end users encounter? How can users protect their servers against security vulnerabilities? According to Igor, there are no easy steps when it comes to server security. Instead, users can follow some general recommendations to identify and deal with risks. 

“Security is a process,” says Igor, “It’s an approach that should be taken into account when you work on a project.” The first step is to identify potential security risks in the design phase of the project. Think, think and think some more. What kind of risks can you encounter? What should you best protect yourself from? “Just don’t think so much, otherwise you face the risk of becoming a security engineer,” says Igor. 

Thank you Igor, we’ll make sure our listeners heed this piece of advice!

“Security is a process. It’s an approach that should be taken into account when you work on a project.”

Igor Antipkin

Key Takeaways

  • Use threat modeling to identify potential security risks. Consider possible security risks in the project design phase. The kinds of threats and risks you might have – list them, write them down (and hopefully don’t leave your notebook lying around). One advantage of using this approach is minimizing the likelihood of security breaches. And it reduces rework in the later stages of your project.
  • Educate your users about security risks. End users today should care more about security. Outdated software is the most common problem in this scenario. It’s important to keep your software up to date. And making sure that you install all the latest updates.
  • Use the principle of least privileges. Limit user permissions based on individual roles to give access where it’s needed. This limits the amount of damage any single individual can do to a website or server.
  • Be informed about the software you use. Inform yourself about software security as much as you can. Stay involved in the community to stay up to date about potential issues.

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. If you’re interested in Plesk extensions, check out our previous episode. If you want to check out some tools to spruce up your security, take a look at this guide. We’ll be back soon with the next installment.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Igor Antipkin

Igor is a Security Engineer at Plesk.

As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Next Level Ops Podcast: The Best Extensions for Your Website with Jan Loeffler

Next Level Ops Podcast: The Best Extensions for Your Website with Jan Loeffler - Plesk

We’re back with the third episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe speaks to the Pleskian Technology Mage, Jan Loeffler. Jan tells us about Plesk Lighthouse Extensions and why they’re super useful.

In This Episode: The Weather, Popular Plesk Extensions, SEO and More

In This Episode: The Weather, Popular Plesk Extensions, SEO and More - Next Level Ops Podcast: The Best Extensions for Your Website with Jan Loeffler - Plesk

If you’re unfamiliar with Plesk extensions, you’re probably wondering what Lighthouse Extensions are. To clarify, Joe and Jan dive right into the specifics, after updating us on the weather of course.

In general, Plesk’s extensions provide extra tools, features and services to users. Their purpose is to enhance the ways in which users work and interact with websites. In particular, they serve a useful role when dealing with specific website areas, such as SEO. So, the SEO Toolkit extension can help users in designing an SEO strategy for better visibility on search engines.

“Usually it’s like running a marathon. If you want to run a marathon, you don’t do it in one day. It needs consistent training and working towards this goal. The same is true for getting on the first page of Google.”, says Jan.

Well Jan, we hope that soon you’ll be able to run a marathon once more after this lockdown is over. We will cheer for you!

"Usually it's like running a marathon. If you want to run a marathon, you don't do it in one day. It needs consistent training and working towards this goal. The same is true for getting on the first page of Google.”

Jan Loeffler

Key Takeaways

  • What are Lighthouse Extensions? There are over 130 extensions in the Plesk Extensions catalog. The Lighthouse Extensions are the most popular among users.
  • Why are the Speed Kit and SEO Toolkit extensions important? As soon as you start selling something on your website, performance matters. If a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, many users will leave. Speed Kit analyzes your site and knows how to cache it. The SEO Toolkit gives you stats to narrow down the areas where your website performance can improve. It supports all major search engines: Google, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo, and so on.
  • How can users get started with Lighthouse Extensions? Some are pre-installed when you spin up a new Plesk server. And the Extensions catalog gives insights into the most popular extensions. Additionally, there’s an Advisor tool that helps users become more productive. It guides you along the value chain and recommends tools you can enable to get the best out of each step.

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. Or go to our Simplecast channel to listen to the full episode. While you’re there, take a peek at our previous episodes here and here. We’ll be back soon with the next installment.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Jan Loeffler

Jan is the Chief Technical Officer at Plesk.

Remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Next Level Ops Podcast: Plesk’s Francisco Carvalho Gives the Scoop on the Partner Program

Next Level Ops Ep 2 Visual

Hello Pleskians! We’re back with another episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. This week, Superhost Joe sits down with Francisco Pereira Carvalho, the Head of Sales at Plesk. As the Pleskian Wizard for Partner Experience, Francisco gives us the details about Plesk’s Partner Program.

Success Comes from Knowing How Different Countries Do Business

Partners Program Visual

It’s the second episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. Joe and Francisco discuss essential details about the Partner Program. As well as the myriad of factors to consider when working with different partners. “We have over 1,600 partners globally.”, mentions Francisco. The essence of successful partnerships is to understand what’s important for partners in different countries and regions. “What we would like to do is to give people and entrepreneurs who would like to start a business an easy and intuitive tool to integrate into their workflow and systems.”, says Francisco.

“What we would like to do is to give people and entrepreneurs who would like to start a business an easy and intuitive tool to integrate into their workflow and systems.”

Francisco

Key Takeaways

  • Who can apply? Businesses in need of more than 5 licenses can consider being part of the Plesk Partner Program. You can take advantage of high-level support and discounts.
  • Are there success stories? There are lots of partner success stories. Many partners started as solopreneurs and swiftly grew to become strategic partners. You can read our latest partner success story here.
  • What are the benefits? Partners benefit from an easy and intuitive tool to integrate into their workflow. Fast support is a given – and provided in 7 languages. Our team takes into account the needs of partners belonging to different cultures.

It’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. Join Joe and Francisco as they talk about what it takes to become a Plesk Partner, the benefits of the program, and how it can help you. You can also listen to the episode directly on Simplecast.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Francisco Pereira Carvalho

Francisco is the Head of Sales at Plesk.

Remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode.

Next Level Ops Podcast: Plesk’s Lukas Hertig Goes Down Memory Lane with Web Hosting

Hello Pleskians! Over the last couple of months we have been busy in the studio preparing the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. This week, our Superhost Joe Casabona sits down with Lukas Hertig, a fellow Pleskian of the Highest Order, to discuss 20 years of Plesk and the changing web hosting landscape.

Web Hosting Was Another World Back Then

Retro Computer

It’s the very first episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. Joe and Lukas go down memory lane with 20 years of web hosting. The podcast kicks off, Lukas introduces himself and his relationship with Plesk. It’s been a long one, 15 years. Joe takes a deep dive right into history. What did web hosting look like 20 years ago? The two chuckle. Websites were hard to set up and looked ugly. Do Dreamweaver, Frontpage and Geocities ring a bell? “It was like the wild, wild west of websites and hosting.”, says Lukas. Joe solemnly agrees.

“It was like the wild, wild west of websites and hosting.”

Lukas

Key Takeaways

  • Web hosting was much more complicated in 2000 – there was a lot of command line stuff! There were few dynamic websites, a lot of free hosts such as Geocities, Tripod and Angel Fire. But overall, there was much less compliance.
  • The biggest changes in the last years include some gamechangers. Such as the rise of WordPress, Node.js and Ruby. The cloud has changed a lot too, for instance, with services like AWS. And what of performance changes? It used to be simple caching but today the complexity is higher.
  • The future – will it even have web hosting? Possibly there is no web hosting at all. “The Platform”, such as Shopify and Wix will be more important. Technology cycles are already getting shorter, disruptions are happening faster. Hopefully, at least DNS should get better.

…Well, what are you waiting for? Join Joe and Lukas as they take you through the magical transformation of the web hosting landscape. Get ready to stream our first ever Plesk podcast. You can also go directly to Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops on Simplecast.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Lukas Hertig

Lukas is the SVP Business Development & Strategic Alliances at Plesk.

Remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode.